The Islanders hope forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Andrew Ladd can progress from offseason surgery, but regardless of their status, president and general manager Lou Lamoriello took strides to bolster the organization’s forward depth with two signings on Friday.
Arnaud Durandeau, a sixth-round pick in 2017, agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal after wrapping up his four-season Quebec Major Junior Hockey League career with a career-high 38 goals and 35 assists in 68 games for Halifax. The Islanders would have lost their rights to the 20-year-old left wing at 5 p.m. Saturday.
Impending unrestricted free agent center Tanner Fritz agreed to a two-year pact. The Islanders did not release financial terms, but an NHL source said Fritz will get $700,000 this season and that the second season is a two-way deal worth $700,000 in the NHL and $250,000 in the AHL.
Fritz, 27, had one assist in eight games for the Islanders last season and was named an AHL All-Star, but he missed a chance to play in the NHL playoffs because of season-ending surgery to remove a blood clot from his hand.
The Islanders reported Clutterbuck had back surgery and is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September.
Ladd had surgery in March to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and was expected to miss up to five months with the aim of being available for training camp. He missed all of training camp with a back issue, was sidelined during the season with an injured right knee and was limited to 26 games last season.
The Islanders still have other impending UFAs, most notably captain Anders Lee, goalie Robin Lehner, top-line right wing Jordan Eberle and third-line center Valtteri Filppula.